UMSL Professor Mark Pope was recently named a “Living Legend of Counseling” by the American Counseling Association during the annual convention in Honolulu. (Photo by August Jennewein)

As the founding father and advocate of career counseling for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Mark Pope has been referred to for years as a living legend. But this month, the title became official.

Pope, professor and chair of the Department of Counseling and Family Therapy in the College of Education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, was recently named a “Living Legend of Counseling” by the American Counseling Association during the annual convention in Honolulu.

Pope is a recognized international expert in various aspects of counseling with sexual minorities, including gay and lesbian career development; violence in schools against sexual minority youths; sexual behavior in aging gay men; and psychological testing with sexual minorities. He has advocated for more than 35 years for the LGBT community, as well as all members of under-represented and culturally marginalized groups in American society. He is the author of more than 100 articles, books, book chapters and other publications dealing with multicultural awareness and career development. He has served on numerous organizations and committees whose specific interests involve multiculturalism and career concerns.

Past recipients of the “Living Legends of Counseling” honor include Albert Ellis, an American psychologist who developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, and William Glasser, developer of reality therapy and choice theory.

Pope, of University City, Mo., was recently profiled in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of Counseling & Development, the leading journal of the American Counseling Association, for his contributions to the field.

He grew up in rural Missouri and attended the University of Missouri–Columbia, where he discovered his love and passion for career counseling. The more he learned about career counseling, the more he knew he needed to be a part of it and to help members of the LGBT community because at the time there was no help. After a few years in private career counseling practice, Pope decided academia was the place for him. In 1997, he began his first faculty position with UMSL.

Over the last few years Pope has received several career-highlighting awards, including:

*Named one of nine extraordinary leaders in the 100-year history of the career counseling profession by the National Career Development Association
*Lifetime Career Achievement Award from the Missouri Career Development Association
*2012 GLBT Educator of the Year Award from the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
*Inaugural Diversity Initiative Award from the National Career Development Association

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton